Latest Updates on Business and Itasca County Regarding COVID-19

IEDC is here to serve the businesses and individuals in this community by providing clear, concise information to help them thrive or sustain.  In the current climate, information is coming from all sides, and while it is well intended, often can leave one confused about what is available to them. 

Our commitment at IEDC is to always provide the most up to date, accurate information as it becomes available to us. 

 

 

Executive Order Updates

Per Commissioner Grove: "As we continue to be cautiously optimistic about the progress Minnesotans have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the Governor is loosening some restrictions today in ways that will help businesses. While these measures are not a major dial turn, we know they will make a difference to thousands of businesses and workers across the state. Starting Saturday, February 13 at 12:00 p.m. the following changes will go into effect:   

  • The cap on bars and restaurants will move up to 250 people inside and 250 outside, with an occupancy limit of no more than 50% of established capacity.  
  • Onsite dining hours are extended to 11:00pm, for any establishment that serves food. Takeout may occur after 11:00pm.  
  • Indoor seated and non-seated entertainment occupancy limits expand to 250 people in each separate area, with a total max of 1,250 people, while maintaining social distancing. Food and beverage consumption is extended to 11:00. 
  • Outdoor entertainment food and beverage consumption is extended to 11:00pm.  
  • Private wedding, funeral, celebrations and parties will have an occupancy limit of 25%, up to a max. of 50 people with social distancing. These events may not occur between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.   
  • Gyms, fitness centers and pools expand to 250 at 25% capacity. Social distancing at 6 feet."

Executive Order 21-07  

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered "indoor dining?" 

Under Executive Order 20-103, It states that restaurants can now open for outdoor dining. A space is considered "indoor" if the space is: 

  • Between the ground or other natural surface or a floor or similar surface and a canopy, cap, awning, celiing, roof or similar structure.
  • Bounded by a physical barrier, included but not limited to: walls, partitions, retractable dividers, doorways, garage doors or windows, whether opened or closed and other types of barriers that cover more than 50% of the combined surface area of the vertical planes constituting the perimeter of the space.

For this information and more: click here. 

 

Are my stimulus checks taxable?

  • In short answer, no. According to Business Insider, "It doesn't reduce your tax refund, and you won't have to pay taxes on it. The one-time payment — called an 'economic impact payment' by the IRS — is technically a refundable tax credit meant to offset your 2020 federal income taxes."

For more information regarding the IRS and economic impact payments: click here. 

 

 

 

 

State of Minnesota Workforce Data

These three documents provide Itasca County residents with excellent information based on workforce in Itasca County and our region.  Itasca County is considered a part of the Arrowhead Region (also referred to as the Northeast Region). The following were provided to us by DEED: 

 

Mask Up Itasca

Itasca Economic Development Corporation is proud to be apart of the Mask Up Itasca taskforce. Mask Up Itasca was formed with the purpose to reinforce and encourage safe personal practices to combat the spread of COVID19 in the Itasca area. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, "Research has shown that wearing masks reduces the risk of infection, especially when combined with other prevention efforts such as washing your hands often and staying 6 feet away from others.

As of July 25, 2020, per the Governor's Executive Order, people in Minnesota will be required to wear a face covering in all indoor businesses and public indoor spaces, unless you are alone."

Face Covering Requirements

 

 

 

 

Preparedness Plans

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development put together sector-specific guidance for all industries. We encourage you to find your sector, and read through the guidance by clicking here. If you don't fall under a specific sector, there is a general preparedness plan available. To read the full document, click the link below. Although the general preparedness plan was last updated in July, it still stands true today. Some of the key take-aways are as followed: 

  • Businesses must address all the guidance requirements applicable to their operations in their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans and as set out in each of the components below.
  • Businesses must assign a designated Plan administrator to ensure the Plan is evaluated, monitored, executed, and updated.
  • Businesses must ensure the plan is posted at all the business’s worksites in readily accessible locations (or is distributed to workers electronically) to allow for the plan to be readily reviewed by all workers, as required.
  • Businesses must maximize remote-working - workers who are able to work from home must work from home.

General Preparedness Plan

 

 

 

Funding Resources

We have put together a unique webpage for funding resources that are available for businesses in Itasca County who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On this page, you will find the following types of loans:

  • Itasca Small Business Relief Loan 
  • SBA Resources
  • State of Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan
  • Entrepreneur Fund

Click here for more information

 

CARES Act

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was signed by President Trump to help provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. This bill is very broad and we will try and have as much information on this topic as possible as we continue to navigate through these difficult times. 

We have included a Small Business Guide and Small Business Checklist for the CARES Act. Both are great tools for a small business owner to use when looking for more information regarding loans and more! 

  • To access the Small Business Guide to the CARES Act, please click here.
  • To acces the Small Business Checklist from the US Chamber of Commerce, please click here. 

 

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law.  Impacted employers must be in compliance with this law by April 2, 2020.  To help explain the provisions and requirements of this law and related topics, Authored by Christopher Beinecke and Dawn Kramer from the Marsh & McLennan Agency.  This document summarizes recent actions taken by both the federal and state governments affecting employer-provided health benefits and provides a user friendly guide on what is required to be in compliance with the FFCRA.

Remaining calm is easier said than done given the relentless stream of news about the spread of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) across the globe. This article summarizes recent actions taken by both the federal and state governments affecting employer-provided health benefits as well as certain other related issues.

To access the full article, click here. 

  • For information regarding Family First Employee Paid Leave Rights, Click Here.
  • For information regarding Family First Employer Paid Leave Requirements, Click Here.
  • For information regarding Family First Questions & Answers Form, Click Here.

 

 

 

 

Unemployment Updates

Unemployment benefits are still available for those affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. For more information, or to apply for unemployment, Click Here. 
 
There is also an application for unemployment benefits for those who are self-employed or are contract workers. To access the information and directions on how to apply, please click here. 
 
The team at Audacity HR put together a short and informative video on Unemployment in MN. To access the video, please follow the link: Full Video

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

  • First Call For Help
    • Website: www.firstcall211.net
    • Phone: call 211 for help
    • Description: This is the first place to call for assistance of any kind. There are many resources available by county on their website.
  • Kootasca:
    • Website:  www.kootasca.org
    • Phone: (218) 999-0800
    • Description: Call Kootasca for energy assistance or go to their website to find additional links to community resources.
  • Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation:
  • Second Harvest North Central Food Bank:
  • Veteran's Services:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Social Media to Sell Inventory 

There are so many creative ways to use Social Media as an outlet for curbside pickup sales! It can be as simple as taking pictures of new items and posting them to let your followers know that they are available at any time. All it takes is a quick comment, message or phone call.  We want to help you succeed in all areas of business. If you need any help with social media sales, please let us know! Our Marketing Specialist, Kayla Swanson, is available via email or phone.  Please contact her with any questions at kswanson@itascadv.org. She will set up a phone-call with you to help walk you through your next steps! In the video to the right, Kayla walks you through a way to use Facebook Live for Retail Sales and Curbside Pickup. 

For access to the step-by-step Facebook Live Guide, click here. 

 

 

Job Search 

Despite the ever-changing times, there are employers that are still searching for employees to fill critical positions in our economy. We want to make sure that you know where there are resources out there to find a job when the job needs you most. Below are links to help you in your job search. 

 

Broadband Updates

Internet providers accross our nation have pledged to "Keep Americans Connected." Please refer to the links below regarding internet access for all students that are no longer in school and the workforce who is forced to work remotely. 

We understand that there are more internet providers than what we have listed. We will continue to try and update this information as it becomes available to us. 

 

 

Childcare Updates

We know the uncertainty that comes with running a licensed childcare program during scary times like these. However, we want you to know that there are resources available for you.

The following three links regarding childcare are constantly changing and we want to be sure that you have access to them at all times. 

For more information regarding childcare, follow the links below:

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Links & Resources 

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